Want to start burning more calories every day at the gym? Don’t just content yourself to do a classic treadmill workout or a spinning class, but try a step routine–a workout that combines high-intensity aerobics with a powerhouse leg workout. You’ll find that it can help you get your lower body in great shape and burn fat very effectively!
Your Advanced Step Routine
Here’s a great step routine you can do:
- Stand a foot away from your step aerobic platform
- Step up onto the platform with your right leg, raising your right arm into the air at the same time. Pull your left hand back as you step up.
- Lift your left leg high, pulling it up toward your chest. At the same time, draw your right elbow downward toward that left knee in a sort of cross-body half-crunch.
- Come out of the half-crunch and place your left foot on the floor, following it with your right foot.
- Repeat the entire process with the other leg and hand
This is just one of the many step routine exercises you can do, and you’ll find that a 30-minute workout populated with exercises like this can help you burn around 300 calories!
Ways to Make the Workouts Harder
Want to make that step routine harder? Here are a few ways to up the intensity:
- Make it a point to STAMP on the platform as you step up, and punch out in all directions like a boxer before stepping down. It will add some upper body work to the routine as well!
- Carry dumbbells or use hand-weights as you step up, and the added weight will increase the difficulty of the workout.
- Add curls to your step routine to fit in a good arm workout.
- Point your toes inward or outward to train the inner and outer thigh muscles, not just the muscles in the center of your legs.
How and Why Step Routines Work
Step routines combine aerobic exercise, forcing your heart to beat harder and pump more blood in order to keep up with the workout. It’s not high intensity exercise, so your lungs and heart do a lot of the work.
At the same time, however, your legs are getting an effective workout. Every time you step up, your thighs and glutes are engaging. By the end of the workout, you’ll feel your upper legs burning–as if you just subjected them to a proper weightlifting session.
You’re only stepping up onto a platform that is between 10 and 30 cm. off the ground, so it’s not like you’re doing a full Stairmaster workout. However, you are getting that same action, meaning you’ll tone your legs and glutes through the workout.
The way to burn more fat and calories is to keep up with the workout. For the first 5 to 10 minutes, your body will only be burning glucose, which comes from the sugar and carbs you eat throughout the day. However, as you pass the 10-minute mark, your body will have used up a lot of the available carbs, so it will have to turn to using fat. By the time you reach 30 to 40 minutes of workout, you’ll have burned a pretty solid amount of fat.
This is one reason that step aerobics are so popular! Not only do they help to sculpt your lower body (all of the muscles in your legs work, and you get a good core workout with that cross-body half-crunch), but you’ll find that it’s a great workout to burn calories in a fun way!